Game Concept

Inspiration: Cyberpunk tabletop role-playing game – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk_(role-playing_game)
Setting: Cyberpunk genre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk
Style: point-and-click adventure game of old, heavily narrative-based, detailed art style with key animations and vibrantly pulsing backgrounds

Thesis: {CyberStory} is a classic-style point-and-click adventure game resembling a visual novel. Taking on the popular “cyberpunk” genre in a variety of tales to excite, chill and intrigue your heart, mind, and soul – meet characters at “The Edge” and go with them on their journeys into the dark underbelly of the coming future… Or, create your own!

{CyberStory} is a story-based visual novel creator, inspired primarily by the og TTRPG universe of Cyberpunk, that you can experience as a player or customize yourself as storyteller. The primary mode – and likely most popular way of playing the game – will come in its Custom Creator mode. Using easy-to-learn editor tools, and your own nascent science fiction x noir x utopian/dystopian imaginings, make your own CyberStory and invite others within the community to experience your mystery noir tale, or dramatic tragicomedy, or action story, for themselves.

~ excerpt from the Cyberpunk TTRPG rulebook – The World of Cyberpunk

Setting: the pulsing and gleaming neo-cities of the near future, a future of cyberpunkian bacchanalia and desperation, where the underclass makes mercenaries of themselves for street scraps while the ruling class dominates from corpo towers of surveilling, hyper-militarized control… Netrunners surf the cyberscape and try for byzantine scores of digital crypto-wealths, dodging cybercops and Rogue A.I. … Ultra-jacked bagmen for organized crime cooperatives duke it out with robocops blasting to kill… gliding cars overhead, pounding night club beats underneath, skyscrapers that crack a sky of superstorms and acid rain, forgotten underground passages serving as heist entry and exit points, digital highways the color of void, replicant factories and private military x healthcare joint ventures, etc.

Characters & Story: {CyberStory} boasts a wide-range of characters – of the varying archetypes at play within the cyberpunk / action / noir genre: the grizzled detective, the god-complex’ed corpo exec, the up-and-coming mercenary runner, the mad hacker (“Netrunner“), the old soldier ready for “one last job”, the out-of-practice but still has a few tricks up his sleeve doc, the impassioned yet reckless revolutionary, etc.

At its core, {CyberStory} is a mystery x drama x play about characters and the choices they make in a harsh and unforgiving world. Detectives go after criminals; doctors heal, mechanics fix, executives analyze and extract – and all of them do it together, to each other and for each other. Even in the madness of a technology-laden future world, in a realm of “alienated, future-shocked survivors“, whose humanity has increasingly become suspect – these people are mortal, confused, compassionate, cruel and everything in between. And they are in community, even if it often doesn’t look like it… {CyberStory}, as an interactive video game experience, is a medium to tell their stories through.

The key component within {CyberStory} and its base characters, aside from all their defined roles within the main campaign initially available to players – is how such characters may be used – or changed – within stories of your own making. As an open-ended story creation game – not unlike RPG Maker – {CyberStory} offers you as the player the control to write your own stories – and thus, characters – using the ones from the baseline story, or making new ones completely.

A diverse and intriguing cast of characters awaits the {CyberStory} player – what roles will they play in your story? ~ from Cyberpunk 2077


Point-and-Click Adventure Tales ~ {CyberStory} is ultimately a throwback – as a visual novel style game, it is akin to 80s and 90s style menu reading games. Though less high octane than many modern gaming stylings, such pointing, clicking, and *reading* will be the primary vehicle for the gameplay within the title. The key then becomes – aside from an attractive overall presentation and a slick animated art style for characters and backgrounds – to make the story to be told totally enrapturing. That is the aim for {CyberStory}’s writing and its structure as a make-your-own-game title.

Snatcher (1988) ~ a mystery noir point-and-click created by legendary video game creator Hideo Kojima, shortly after his hit Metal Gear (1987). Deals with Blade Runner-style replicants and their assassins battling for control of the world.
Policenauts (1994) ~ an action-adventure mystery game by Kojima, a spiritual sequel – refining and extending the concept started in Snatcher. About near future space living and the police x military x corporate forces liable to corrupt it.

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure + Create-Your-Own-Adventure ~ {CyberStory}’s campaign story, designed / written by the devs & writers of the game itself is a mystery drama tale, combining character intrigues on technology versus the soul, the paradigms of honor and betrayal, and the chaotic travails that come in a complex world between life and death. There is a narrative path and specific character actions to be taken in the world – and though the story generally plays out the same each time, as the protagonist taking on the role of of your choice of: detective, exec, or mercenary — there are definite differences in each experience.

As in a “choose-your-own-adventure” novel, the player will be able to navigate their world with variable choices in the content and order of operations: who you talk to, where you investigate – and when – will comprise these differences in the narrative path. Sometimes, your choices can mean life or death for the different characters in the world, including your own…

The customization options in {CyberStory}, wherein players will be able to write their own stories using a mix of the same settings, characters and plot hooks, will be governed by the same variability.

What Companies Can Learn From ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Books: https://medium.com/@pk.patrick.kelly/what-companies-can-learn-from-choose-your-own-adventure-books-bf1e6c44880

Characters Worth Dying For ~ {CyberStory}’s characters are complex, dynamic, sexy and surprising in their words and actions. In the main story – and hopefully, in the player’s own – you never really know what is going to happen next. As with the cyberpunk genre, the characters are over-the-top and always a little extra with their daring lives of either heroic heisting, corruption or criminal misadventure of all other kinds.

Take the time to explore the settings, using your pointer and the menu of options within each location and the characters inhabiting them to delve all dialogue and investigation options. You never know what you may find – and how it may end up changing the entire storyline…

{CyberStory} characters in action
Intrigue in the CyberClub… ~ art source: https://edgerunners.obsidianportal.com/wikis/wo-shing-wo

Narrative Modes: Base, Emergent, Custom Creator ~ {CyberStory}’s base narrative campaign – which will take about 5-7 hours to complete, depending on the choices and level of exploration an individual player undertakes – is just the beginning. Two other prime game modes, eventually making up the bulk of a {CyberStory} player’s time, energy and fun are: 1) The “Emergent Narrative” mode, and 2) The “Custom Creator” mode.

The Emergent Narrative mode consists of a more automated approach to crafting your very own {CyberStory} – by pulling cards from a deck featuring short pre-packaged narrative intrigues, actions, items and all-around plot hooks – a player can jump into this mode to experience a brand new story, utilizing the familiar elements from the base mode. This mode is for players looking for something new – and easy to experience. This mode resembles the procedural random elements comprising always new experiences, like within the roguelike genre.

~ “Emergent Narrative” idea inspired by this dope Oracle Story Generator Kickstarter, using tarot-esque cards to help writers and TTRPG managers make ever-fresh stories.

The Custom Creator mode is the eventual bread and butter of the enthusiast {CyberStory} player. This is where players are given complete control and sovereignty over the tools, inner workings, written expressions and artistic stylings of the {CyberStory} engine – to make whatever story you want to make! Through this mode, ultimately the game becomes a story-generating, crowdsourced narrative engine game – where people can write their own “CyberStories” into being, using new and old characters from the base or emergent modes, and invite people to play through their fictions – whether they be sci-fi action, noir, romance, dystopia, you name it. You are the one creating it in the Custom Creator.

Easy-to-Learn Custom Creator Pathways™ system ~ To help with the complexity of what may amount to making your own game, {CyberStory} sets up its customization engine in a satisfying audiovisual manner – using character paths and environmental triggers as the prime method for crafting your custom story. Using the Pathways system, {CyberStory} custom creators will be able to fully visualize and outline their stories with relative ease.

Branching conversation pathways art: Writing branching Game Conversations the easy way – approach from my indie game

Community: Story Sharing and Theorycrafting Forums ~ Altogether, {CyberStory} makes for an intricate story game with interactive characters, a rich “cyberpunk” world and aesthetic, an inventive art style carrying out multiple paths/endings available for the player. And that is just the base, pre-prepared campaign. Jump into Emergent and Custom modes for even more profound experiences – drawn up entirely from the minds of the player base.

As a result of custom creations being a core part of the {CyberStory} gameplay, the player community center will be principally featured within the main menu of the game. From there, players can explore other player’s custom story creations – for free or on sale – and delve the forums to discuss and theorycraft their experiences from any of the emerging stories cropping out there in the {CyberStory} multiverse! The community experience is what this game will be all about.

Inspired by ~

Cyberpunk RPG (1988-present) / Cyberpunk 2077 (2020)

Snatcher (1988) / Policenauts (1994)

CyberJudas (1996) / Shadow President (1993)

CyberJudas / PC / Empire Interactive / 1996
The game puts the player in the role of the President of the United States in a situation loosely based on the Cold War and the early 1990s. Using a timeline that starts during the end of the Ogaden War, players can prepare Kuwait to be invaded by Iraq during Operation Desert Shield. After dealing with the Iraqi adversaries, the player can opt to overthrow the military overlords and political cartels that are keeping the people of South America and Africa in relative poverty.
Being popular enough to be re-elected is a vital component of the game, though re-elections can be disabled which in turn greatly reduces the effect of popularity. Managing the budget of the United States, sending aid to foreign countries, dealing with diplomatic crises, and even fighting wars are a largely unavoidable aspect of the game. The player starts the game with seven advisors, which makes the game a bit less confusing. During every American election year, players are not allowed to access their virtual screen starting at midnight on election night so that a panel of bureaucrats can analyze their progress. If their popularity and efficiency is good enough, the player is authorized to use the terminal for four more years. Not getting re-elected automatically means “game over.”
Furthermore, if the player makes poor decisions or abuses their power, their advisors may resign, Congress will attempt to impeach them, foreign governments may overthrow them, or terrorist groups may attempt an assassination.

VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action (2016)

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a booze em’ up about waifus, technology, and post-dystopia life.

RPG Maker (1992-present)

Endgame: {CyberStory}, at its heart, is a game designed to unleash a player’s creativity. Rather than just playing, players can try to create! With community stories at the forefront of this variable cyberpunkian audiovisual novel, find out what kind of stories, characters, futures your peers can dream up – then try your hand at sharing your own!

~ art source: https://a-cyberpunk-dystopia.tumblr.com/post/622032302124531712/cyberpunk-2077-concept-art
NOW TRY BUILDING YOUR OWN CYBERPUNK NOVEL! ILLUSTRATION BY AIDAN Y-M ~ https://www.currentaffairs.org/2021/05/we-deserve-better-dystopias/